The carnival comes to town, and everyone has their favorite parts. I for one love fried dough and that spinney ride where you stick to the walls. Whether you go for the food, some ride that’s one strap of duct tape away from killing everyone or just the atmosphere, at some point you are going to walk through a “fun house”. It might be in the middle of the haunted mansion or just some random attraction before you waste your money playing a game, but there it’ll be. And in the middle of said funhouse is the most underrated attraction of all; the funhouse mirror. It’s simple in its execution but that’s what makes it so appealing. The reflections are distorted, warped, and silly. We look into them and see something not quite us but still familiar. The image of ourselves isn’t what we remember or what it should be and that’s what makes it entertaining. This brings me to my ultimate point; as the year comes to a close, looking back on how things went down can be downright entertaining because they are slightly distorted. You’ve had time to think about things, see them in a different light. Problems seem smaller, and arguments with friends have been blown out of proportion. In the end, these things still happened and shaped up whether or not you’re celebrating the end of a great year or toasting to one that’s better.
Oh 2010, I feel like we hardly got to know each other. Or maybe I got to know you all too well, it depends on which mirror I’m looking into. As I write this only one part of the year truly sticks out for me; this summer. It was a 3 month sweatpants weekend. I did all the things I wanted and played pretty hard. I tried not to fall into old traps and continued to keep the one resolution I made last year. That’s not to say other parts of the year were bad, just not as good. It’s hard to fully express how I feel about 2010. It was like a mediocre album really. There were some great sections but nothing really carried over to make for a great time through and through. I guess I shouldn’t ask for more than I’m supposed to. I’ve said that no one is immune the up’s and downs of life, and to complain that the past 365 days were just “ok” can come off as selfish. My year could just as easily been one of the worst I’ve ever had, and for that I’m thankful. For me it’s more a personality fit. My life has always been one of extremes, whether by my own accord or just because that’s how things work out for me. All or nothing, in or out, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times and twenty ten didn’t do that for me. It gave me so much a look at stability it almost seemed like purgatory.
This year forced a lot of people to play it safe. Taking jobs they didn’t really want, but they needed, sticking with crowds that bored them to tears for fear that stepping outside the box would leave them cold and alone. It’s no one persons fault, not totally. The country is digging out of a recession, so people are reacting accordingly. When the path is uncertain, people tend to take baby steps. It’s human nature. I’m not a baby stepper, but this year turned the lights off and there was no backup power. So safe I played. Consistently safe, to the point where I have regrets. Chances I didn’t take, people I didn’t talk to, hell, even haircuts I didn’t try. The overall outcome being, I know what I didn’t do, now what am I going to do. No matter what the songs may say, just because the year ends, what you did and said before still happened. There is no magic reset button that makes you a different person once the clock strikes 12. Only Cinderella was that lucky, and come to think of it, at midnight she was poor again. It takes conscious effort to make changes not a change of date. Your tendencies and ways of thought will be the same whether it’s the 31st or the 1st.
This time of year is great for self reflection, a true and honest look at yourself in comparison to the time you’ve spent doing things. The New Year resolutions usually come about because people want to feel that they accomplished something over the year and whether or not they did will make up what they attempt to do. That’s where the funhouse effect comes in. No matter how much that reflection is distorted, it’s still you, and eventually you will have to stand in front of a real mirror. The most honest thing on the planet. This is going to be a two-fer: My State of Mined for 2010 was “steady”, I did a lot of wait and see living. Nothing great, nothing terrible. I just was. I existed on this planet for 365 days and while I did make changes, I feel like this year was a filler episode to my favorite show. Now for 2011, my State of Mined is “reflective window”. I can see myself but I can also see the world in front of me. Safe play for a year is enough for me, and I want my reflection to be different next year, and not because I had to find a mirror that was altered, but because I took the time to make the change myself. Funhouse mirrors are good in small doses, but there’s a reason people don’t keep them in their houses.
Carpe Diem Kids,
See you in 2011